Three times is a charm

by Paul Kelly
2nd July 2024

REVIEW

THE LATEST offering from the Warrandyte Theatre Company was Three Award Winning One Act Plays.
These three plays were the winners of a recent writing competition, selected from a total of 21 original plays.

  • The Midnight Muse by Michael Olsen, directed by Grant Purdy;
  • Mockingbird by Alison Knight, directed by Ruth Richter;
  • Double Booked by Adrian C Rice, directed by Michelle Reeves.

The first play, The Midnight Muse, was a two-hander with the characters of Stephen (Mason Frost), a writer suffering from writer’s block, and Calliope (Danielle Carey), the Greek goddess and muse who comes to offer him some advice and suggestions.
In the second play, we are introduced to Ella (Jackie Barber) and her husband Jake (James Poyner), who have recently moved to the area and are trying to impress Jake’s new boss, Phillip (Craig Willis) and his snobbish wife Genevieve (Jo Lippold).
Phillip and Genevieve warn Jake about the strange man, Tom (Pablo Robert), who lives in the area.
As the story unfolds over several different locations and days, we explore some complex social issues around how people are judged by others, and we see the tensions that this can bring between the characters.
The final show, Double Booked, is a quirky story set in the small bedsit of Simon (Adrian Quintarelli), who has returned to university to study law and whose apartment is above Pam’s (Eleni Karandinas), a sex worker who occasionally needs Simon’s assistance to “entertain” her clients by providing a cup of tea and some biscuits as they wait while she is otherwise engaged.
In this instance, the client who arrives is Marco (Pablo Robert), who Simon recognises as an old acquaintance from his hometown.
After discovering the reason for leaving town, Marco, together with Simon and Pam, sets out to resolve the situation from Marco’s past.

Photos: MICHELLE REEVES

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It was wonderful to see the return of some of the actors from previous WTC productions, along with some new faces in this series of plays.
Overall, the three plays were quite different, and each had its own interesting story to tell.
There were scenes and stories that certainly made you think and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments within this wonderful evening.
The sets, costuming and props were simple but easily put you into the scenes taking place and the lighting was evocative of the events taking place.
The use of lights and soundscape, especially in Mockingbird, gave the sense that there were more than just the five main characters, with some very effective use of recorded voices and activities taking place off stage.
The order in which the plays were presented also worked very well.
The first and last shows offered some lighter moments, while the second play had a more gritty and thought-provoking feel to it.
Congratulations to everyone involved on stage and behind the scenes in what has been another fabulous production from WTC.

The last two performances of this suite of play are at 8pm on Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6.
Tickets available via Trybooking and are only $25 per person ($20 Concession).